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Google’s Zeitgeist 2013 and Us

Welcome to 2014. Google recently published their trending search terms in 2013. This interesting list shows the eclectic nature of our global internet searches and what does this list tell us of the world we live in?

The list of the top trending searches is below, or visit www.google.co.uk/zeitgeist? or watch the video on You Tube here.


  • Nelson Mandela: inspirational international figure who the world sadly lost on 5 December 2013
  • Paul Walker: the Fast and the Furious actor who died in a car crash in November.
  • iPhone 5S: new phone.
  • Cory Monteith: star of the TV show Glee died of a drug over dose
  • Harlem Shake: the viral videos of people miming to the 2012 hit by American electronic musician Baauer
  • Boston Marathon: the terrible attack on April 15 on one of the world’s biggest marathons sent shockwaves throughout the world.
  • Royal Baby: Prince George born in July.
  • Samsung Galaxy S4: another new phone.
  • PlayStation 4: new video games console.
  • North Korea: international affairs and political tension.

This is such a diverse list of people, events and objects. This shows the assorted subjects that globally occupy our collective minds. These are our areas of interest, our concerns and material desires, from births, deaths, tragedies, to dance and tech.

This list of the most popular global searches gives us an insight into individual minds. What we see represented in this global list, we see represented in individuals. There are parts within parts that make up the world machine we inhabit. This can be on a micro level, in the machine of our mind, and the macro level in the machine of our society and global economy. The micro and macro level are equally complex, just different sizes. What happens at the level of the individual mind is represented at a global level and vice versa.

The juxtaposition of these search items is interesting, representing either our fickle nature, or possibly our self-therapy, as we read about death and tragedy and soothe our troubled mind with glossy images of new tech and crazy dance videos.

From second to second our individual thoughts move from the deeply troubling, to the joy of a new birth of a person or a gadget. Happy and sad thoughts can follow each other in milliseconds as we are bombarded with stimuli from our senses and the multi-media sources around us.  If this is true generally, it is true of the people we coach and develop. So how do we work with someone who’s mind is shifting from one thought to another in a split second, especially as my mind is doing exactly the same? This comes from one thing; focus. A focus of thought and intention. There is an energy that creates this focus that in FACTS coaching terms is described as Tension. Too little energy and our mind wonders, too much and our mind is overwhelmed and trying to find an escape. At the optimal level of tension we have focus.

With anything that requires energy, we can focus at an optimal level for a short period of time before needing to rest and recover. At this point we switch to Google and search “Harlem Shake”.

I wonder what the Google’s trending search terms will be for 2014?

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